Seattle, Washington

Encyclopedia Article


The largest city in the U.S. state of Washington and in the greater region of the Pacific Northwest. The Seattle area was inhabited by Native peoples for thousands of years before European settlers arrived in the late 1700s. In 1851, a town was established at the mouth of the Duwamish River, which was later named Seattle after the Native American chief Sealth, with whom the settlers had a good neighborly relationship. The town's early economy relied on timber and with the gold rush of the late 1800s the city grew substantially. The 20th century brought about the development of industry, transportation, and commerce, and today Seattle is known especially for its aircraft and high-tech industries. In recent decades it has become one of the most densely populated and affluent American cities. Seattle is known for its unique layout on hills interspersed by water (including Puget Sound, Elliot Bay, and various lakes), and for its oceanic climate, characterized by cool, cloudy, and often rainy weather.

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"Seattle from Kerry Park, August 14, 2010" by Bala is licensed under CC BY.

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